Spoonful of Sugar By Lucy Williams

Hello, all! I’m happy to introduce this lovely guest post by Lucy Williams for you to enjoy. It’s a beautifully written piece of flash-memoir that I absolutely love. Don’t forget to comment below and share if you’re feeling fancy.

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Hung-over on the bed, but without having been to sleep yet, I force myself to check the time. It’s 3:57am. The side street below my window refuses to sleep either.

Rickety bikes rattle along below, carrying their intoxicated mounts to safety like trusty steeds, homeward bound. The youngsters flowing home along the cobbled river is a sight welcomed by the baker on the corner of Via Matteucci, who half an hour ago exhaustedly turned his key in the lock of his pasticceria door to start making the dough for the day ahead. It’s at this time of night, in his secluded stone doorway, that he hopes to make a little cash-in-hand profit from these students’ wine-induced craving for fresh strips of garlic and rosemary infused ciabatta, still soft and doughy in the middle and half the price of what they will cost them when they officially go on sale in a few hours.

Sleep is on its way, clouding my vision and thoughts until I succumb to its beautiful nothingness. After being awake for this many hours it must surely arrive soon.

It has been one of those days for making list upon list, mistake upon mistake, and handing over more and more money. A day of wearing lots of layers and not having the warmth of someone else’s knowing eyes penetrating them. A day of free beer and telephone cards to reach those who really know me. A day of blurred photographs and of folding paper. A day of looking ten years ahead. A day of putting an extra spoonful of sugar on the foam of my cappuccino, while looking at my watch to work out how long I need to wait before I’ll be dissolving a sugar cube over my absinthe with Federico, when I will be able to lose track of time in the mesmeric cloud of whiteness swirling through the liquid below. A day of playing music too quietly, and of piling boxes high against the wall, filling them with packets of snapped willow charcoal. A day of imagining material on every surface, and of wanting to stop pretending that I know how they feel. Of being the last to go to bed again.

In this gap before the night closes and the day begins, it feels as though it can only be me and the baker who are still awake. The sound of him opening the door to let the heat out of his floury prison floats up to my window, followed shortly by the smell of fresh pizza dough, and I realise that I don’t have to be asleep to have my sogni d’oro here in Italy.

An hour soon gets swallowed up in my thoughts, and the air is now so still that I can hear the baker rest his sweaty weight against the stone wall outside, methodically wiping his forehead before he lights the first cigarette of his shift.

When he resumes his work after this first break the sound of the trays scraping against the oven is my cue to give in to sleep, as it won’t be long before the first customers will be leaning on his counter and I will have stayed awake into a new day. He will greet me tomorrow as I cycle passed and he will be thinking about how lucky I am to have had a full night’s sleep, utterly unaware of how many hours we have spent awake together at night.

As the North Italian sun starts to trickle into the bedroom, I am pleasantly surprised to notice that today the view of the neat orange terracotta rooftops through the mess of curtains has become as familiar and comforting to me now as one of the green hills back home. Every day, as I witness the darkness turn into dawn, I momentarily expect to see Welsh countryside appear but the usual disappointment is less today.

After my time in this special country, I am going to go home and know what I am going to do in the morning. I won’t confuse day and night. I won’t have unpacked bags in the corner of my room. I’ll answer my calls and be outside ready to meet them. I will see doing nothing as a worthwhile thing to do with you. I’ll have just one book in my bag. I’ll redo what I tried to do when I was continually drunk, and start to know what happened and when. My earring will not hurt after a day in the wind. I will be happy doing all the things that they think I’ve done. I will close the back cover and let someone else write their name now.

Author Bio:

Lucy lives in Wales and spends her time as an Italian Translator, Technical author, and Creative Writer. She is particular interested in the translation of culturally-bound humour, crossing boundaries through literature, subtitling, and writing for therapeutic purposes. She has poetry published by The Emma Press, and Hysteria, and was recently a judge for the Hysteria Short Story competition.

She is a freelance travel writer for Looking for Italy where she gets to spout off about how amazing Italy is. Here is an article about why you should shut your computer down and book a flight to Naples right now. She also documents her own travels on her creative writing site: www.lucyrosewilliams.com. She is currently working on getting the courage to move to Italy and live off arancini, views, and calzedonia tights.

As We Speak, The Sounds

As we speak, Francesco is lying in the backyard bleeding to death. At least, that’s what I’m imagining since I left him unsupervised with a weed-whacker. You would think that his life calling was to be in lawn care. I’ve yet to see another human being who looks as happy as Francesco does while doing yard work. Seriously, drive by our house on any given day, and you might find him out front, shoving the old ass lawnmower unevenly across the yard as happy as a crackhead who just scored a free rock. As energetic as one, too.


I’m inside trying to calm Oliver who hates machinery like you wouldn’t believe. In Florence, he’s attacked the sides of the street-cleaner trucks-twice. He attacks lawnmowers, weed whackers, as well as non-motorized monsters such as brooms and rakes. He fucking hates rakes. And for no reason. Nobody has ever attacked him with any of the above and he’s never had a bad experience, yet, you’d think that in his past life he was a survivor of Maximum Overdrive (haven’t seen that movie? Lucky.) I’m not sure what goes through his mind, but he becomes instantly rabid as soon as we take the vacuum or any other contraption out. He paces, he stalks, and once the monster comes to life, he lunges. OR, he runs and jumps into the arms of whoever isn’t next to the shitty, scary thing. I’ve tried to figure out the root of his fear to no avail because the thing about Oliver is that since he grew up in Italy, he’s not afraid of loud noises. And he’s never had a bad experience. He just innately believes that those things are evil. Or maybe he sees them as evil, autonomous, alien objects out to kill his family. Probably. Since he also becomes jealous when I talk to my plants (read: He runs over and dives on top of them). And yes, I talk to plants. And anything else that can’t get away from me (that’s probably the root of Oliver mental duress).


Update on Francesco: He’s not dead apparently. But it is super windy and he’s now raking things into our compost bin.

I’m still inside watching him through the back window. And celebrating by myself with inner monologues of “yay,” because….

I FINALLY FINISHED MY GODDAMN BOOK.  CAN I GET A WOO-HOO! And someone, please, drink a bottle of wine for me. With me. Everyone just drink. 

Check out the dirty manuscript picture on instagram, here. Thoughts on the title?

For those of you who are new here: A book that I’ve been writing (I know, I’m scared of the idea, too), not one that I’ve been reading. That would be a lot of enthusiasm for reading a book. Unless you just learned how to read and it’s your first book ever. In that case, it’s exactly the right amount. Oliver is celebrating, too, by howling incessantly at the backyard where Francesco is practically tap-dancing across the grass with a rake. It’s like broadway back there, that’s how much goddamn enthusiasm he has right about now. It’s like a musical, only instead of music it’s just the sound of me typing, and my yappy ass dog trying to save Francesco from himself.

What are your sounds right now?